There is a howling going on around the world…this wordless expression of something deep inside that pours from our very depths. This inspires to me share here today (with permission) about a poet and a dreamer….
Some here in Estes Park had the privilege of knowing Margaret Guthrie, poet, activist who died last year at age 90. I first met Margaret through our local grief group which I help facilitate as a hospice volunteer. She was there with others expressing her grief over the death of George, her husband for over 70 years.
Margaret immediately became a dream client and over the next four years we would meet and explore her dreams, dreams that challenged her and also that brought great support and comfort. The last dream Margaret shared with me was shortly before her death.
Dream – George and I are dancing…a very slow dance. My head is tucked under his chin, my arms around his neck, his arms around my waist. We are so close, so in love.
Margaret shared that though she and George met at a square dance they never danced much. This dream brought her to tears as it gave the visceral and heart felt sense of being held and being loved. Our dreams will reflect our outer world but they more stunningly so reflect our inner world…and here were George and Margaret…forever young…forever in the love they felt for each other.
Margaret also often shared her poems with us…poems inspired by her grief over George. Her poems touched right into and gave voice to what everyone in the group was feeling. Like Margaret’s dreams…like Margaret herself…this poem is visceral and heart felt.
A Time to Howl
by Margaret Guthrie
I did not know I could howl
I did no know the meaning of howl
until it came, and now comes,
out of nothing nothing but grief
for the absence of that presence
the hole in that space
the absolute nothingness
how would Sartre explain it
how would Ginsberg describe it
I howl, and all I know is that,
it is an expression of pain
of unmitigated incompleteness
“For everything there is a season
and a time for every matter under heaven:…”
this is the time to howl
and I know now the keening women shown on tv
are genuine, real holding from the essence of their being
not just heart or mind or stomach or guts
no, it is the howling from that deep source
that unites us with the All That Is
it is a howl that calls to the universe
to the maker of the cosmos
to the ultimate God
that made what is called heaven and earth
that made it possible to love
and to lose that which one loves
it is a howl that goes out and comes back
circles around, whirls, like we did as children
or as the Sufi do, or perhaps
until that consciousness of loss
becomes the loss of consciousness
and there is nothing left but to accept there is –
a time to howl.
Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com.